The Rogues Farewell Founder and Artistic Director Goldele Rayment

Company of Rogues announces the departure of our Artistic Director, Goldele Rayment, who founded the company solo in 2015. Goldele leaves to pursue her artistic practice as a teacher, dramaturg and director, and to enjoy time with family after her recent wedding to educator Aston Kwok.

The company will now be helmed by producer Robbi James in partnership with performer, director and producer Erica Lovell.

“Since Robbi joined Company of Rogues we have achieved career milestones which had previously seemed unattainable to me, such as touring Morgan Stern both nationally and internationally, and obtaining our first grants for a creative project,” Goldele said, “It is a remarkable thing to seed an idea and have others join you with as much passion and commitment as he has.”

Goldele fondly remembers the dozens of arts professionals the company has worked with in her time as Artistic Director, “I am incredibly grateful to Erica and Robbi, and to the too-many-to-name-here performers and other creatives with whom I have made joyous, risky, challenging and inspiring theatre under the auspice of Company of Rogues” she said.

Robbi and Erica will each take the title of Executive Creative Producer, working collaboratively to develop and produce our ambitious 2020 season.

“Robbi and I share a goal for The Rogues that will continue Goldele’s vision to select work that challenges and inspires us” Erica said, “we’re committed to finding and developing original stories, to seeking out new arts opportunities and to creating space for invisible artists to be seen on Australian stages.”

Goldele’s next steps include her new focus on directing opera, including directing Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms in August for the Pacific Opera Young Artists program.

For Robbi it’s a bittersweet change, “I’m humbled and grateful to Goldele for believing in me, in our work and in our partnership. Her original vision will always be at the heart of Company of Rogues. I will dearly miss Goldele’s energy, artistry and passion but I’m also excited to see where these great assets will take her next”.

Thank you Goldele, and Chookas to a bright creative future!


Some of our favourite memories of Goldele at work…

Farewell Statement from Rogues Artistic Director Goldele Rayment

When I first established Company of Rogues in 2015 it was a platform for myself as a director in Sydney after relocating from Melbourne and a hiatus of a number of years during a period of ill health. I hoped that I could build something that would be sustainable and lasting for myself and those involved. As an Artist with a Disability I knew there was no way I could do this without substantial support and help, and I searched for 2 years for a core collaborator. When Robbi James joined me as a partner in crime in 2017 these dreams started to become a reality.

Unfortunately the strains of running, what is currently an unfunded, profit-share collective still striving for full financial viability, has become too much for me while also trying to support myself financially and maintain my artistic practice.

Since Robbi joined Company of Rogues we have achieved career milestones which had previously seemed unattainable to me, such as touring our production of Morgan Stern both nationally and internationally and obtaining funding grants for a creative project. It is a remarkable thing to seed an idea and have others join you with as much passion and commitment you yourself have. I am incredibly grateful to Robbi, and now Erica Lovell and to the too many to name here performers and other creatives with whom I have made joyous, risky, challenging and inspiring theatre under the auspice of Company of Rogues.

Over the years I have continually wrestled with what is means to be an Artist with a Disability in an industry that demands far too much even of its “able bodied” and “able minded” workers and to sustain an artistic career that will accommodate and not undermine my health. For now, I’m taking things slowly, putting in place supports that will help sustain me long term. I’m enjoying settling into married life and taking time to focus on my health. 

Over the coming years I plan to keep developing myself as a director, with a strong focus on Opera. In August I’ll be directing Last Night of the Proms for the Willoughby Symphony orchestra as part of Pacific Opera’s emerging artist program. I will continue my work as a Teaching Artist with high schools and the broader community, and I hope to start working with tertiary institutions and professional performers.

Goldele Rayment
Artistic Director and Founder, Company of Rogues

Journey to Edinburgh 3 – Gina Schien

Showing directors a new script can be humiliating and dangerous, like running naked through traffic. All your bits are in full view but you’re probably just a distraction. And if a director decides your play isn’t terrible and they want to direct it, they’ll probably kill it with bad casting.

Goldele liked Morgan Stern but I could still hear car horns honking. Why? Because no one could play this character. ‘What the hell was I thinking?  What?  What?’ 

Goldele said to calm down, she knew this guy. And she did. Graeme Rhodes filled that role with high grade petrol and took it for a beautiful long spin. Audiences ate from his hand and then got to their feet. My job was done.

Only one thing left to do now, Company of Rogues said. ‘Have a burger and Corona to celebrate?’ No – take it to Edinburgh. We’ll take a play about madness to the craziest festival on earth. We’ll work our butts off and organise everything while you go on holidays and take it easy.

And they did.

So I’m not just fully clothed again, I’m now wearing a top hat.

Thank you team.

The drinks are on me in August. Xx

Gina Schien – Playwright, author of Morgan Stern

Journey to Edinburgh 1 – Goldele Rayment

When Graeme and I started rehearsing Morgan Stern we always knew we wanted to take this show further than just a 2 week season in a tiny, make-shift ‘indie’ space. In fact, we kept saying to each other “this is a preview season”.

At that stage the plan in my head was to spend 2018 networking and submitting the show to various venues for 2019. Going to Edinburgh hadn’t entered my head, until Kate Gaul did a call out for companies to share a venue with her and Siren Theatre Company. Knowing the quality of her work as a director and skill as a producer I knew we would be in good company. When I brought it to the team and asked if we should go I was surprised by the emphatic YES from everyone.

Still unsure I posted on Facebook, asking for other peoples’ experiences at Edinburgh. To my surprise I immediately got a private message from someone in the industry offering a couple thousand dollars seed money. Having already made a small profit last year, we took this a sign from the universe that we should proceed, and proceed we have!

I’ve never put so much time and energy into one production and I’m having a lot of firsts with Morgan Stern. I’ve never remounted a production before and I have never toured overseas.

Gina, Graeme and I spent quite a bit of time dramaturging the script before we started rehearsals this year.  I was unsure how much time we would need to remount or how much Graeme had retained from the last production. Graeme, being the consummate, hard working professional he is, was almost word perfect with the freshly edited version of the script at our first rehearsal.

It is such a complex and layered text that this period of rehearsal has allowed us to go deeper and keep refining the physical journey he takes through the story and his psychological arc as a character.

Goldele Rayement. Director, Morgan Stern.

Morgan Stern can be seen on stage at Belvoir Theatre (downstairs) on July 1 & 2, 2017. Tickets on sale now from www.belvoir.com.

Don’t miss the show in Edinburgh – C Venues Primo (Hill St Theatre) from August 6-28, 2017. Tickets on sale now at C The Festival.